In the Sunday morning session of the 182nd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf emphasized the importance of not judging others by quoting a bumper sticker: "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you."
This reference made us wonder if previous general conference speakers had included bumper stickers in their talks.
We searched the LDS.org archives and found eight clever phrases that people have plastered on their cars and general authorities have shared from the pulpit.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"The Merciful Obtain Mercy"
April 2012 Sunday morning session
"I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, 'Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.'
"We must recognize that we are all imperfect—that we are beggars before God. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy — to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?"
Elder Wolfgang H. Paul
"The Gift of Agency"
April 2006 Saturday afternoon session
"Some time ago, as I was driving, I had to stop at a red light. The vehicle in front of me caught my attention. A sticker read, 'I do what I want.'
"I wondered why someone would choose to place such a statement on his vehicle. What was the message he wanted to send? Perhaps the driver of this vehicle wanted to express publicly that he has achieved total freedom by just doing what he likes to do. As I thought about this, I realized that our world would be quite chaotic if everyone would just do what he or she wants to do."
Elder M. Russell Ballard
"Be An Example of the Believers"
October 1991 General Women's Meeting
"To you who feel harried and overwhelmed and who wonder whether you ever will be able to run fast enough to catch the departing train you think you should be on, I suggest that you learn to deal with each day as it comes, doing the best you can, without feelings of guilt or inadequacy. I saw a bumper sticker the other day, sisters, that may say it all:
"'God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will never die!'
"Remember, sisters, we all have our own challenges to work out while passing the tests of mortality, and we probably often think ours are the most difficult. Recognize limitations; no one can do everything. When you have done the best you can, be satisfied and don’t look back and second-guess, wondering how you could have done more. Be at peace within yourselves. Rather than berate yourself for what you didn’t do, congratulate yourself for what you did."
Elder Glenn L. Pace
"Follow the Prophet"
April 1989 Saturday afternoon session
"Responsible nonmember teasing and criticism is harmless. In fact, it helps keep us on our toes. Occasionally, we need to step back and look at ourselves from a nonmember’s perspective. Really now, to them, aren’t we just a little bit strange? Imagine yourself coming into a Mormon community for the first time and hearing talk about gold plates, an angel named Moroni, and baptisms for the dead. Imagine seeing, for the first time, nine children and two beleaguered parents in a beat-up station wagon with a bumper sticker reading, 'Families are Forever.' The puzzled nonmember doesn’t know if this is a boast or a complaint. And where do these families go to church? At a stake house. We are strange to nonmembers—until they get to know us."
Elder Jack H. Goaslind
April 1986 Sunday morning session
"Last summer I saw an interesting picture as I followed a car on the freeway. It was a large station wagon that had obviously endured many road skirmishes. The top rack was loaded with luggage; the seats were loaded with people. Four bare feet hung out the rear window, and elbows and arms hung out the side windows. In the front seat, the mother was wrestling with a feisty child while simultaneously trying to calm an upset infant. The father was desperately trying to negotiate the heavy traffic. It was obviously vacation time for this family. As I surveyed the situation with some degree of empathy, I noticed a bumper sticker which read, 'Are we having fun yet?'
"I laugh about this scene whenever I recall it. I believe it is amusing because it exhibits a wry insight into human nature. It reveals a very real aspect of the human condition: the largely unfulfilled pursuit of happiness. The implications of the question “Are we having fun yet?” are profound. How many people in this world pursue happiness but find that it eludes them? They contrive pleasures, invent amusements, and invest heavily in recreation. They go abroad in search of this rare gift but fail to see that evidence of it is all around them; the source is within them."
Then-Elder Thomas S. Monson
"Those Who Love Jesus"
October 1985 Saturday afternoon session
"Driving on the modern freeways during the sunshine of summer is often a pleasant experience. Frequently, one can view the grandeur of majestic mountains and the mesmerizing surf of the sea all in a single drive. However, when the traffic is heavy, the mountains and seas are set aside, and concentration is focused on the car ahead. Such was the occasion when I read with keen interest the words of a bumper sticker readily visible on the highly polished chrome bumper of a car which was weaving in and out of the traffic stream. The words were these: 'Honk if you love Jesus.' No one honked. Perhaps each was disturbed by the thoughtless and rude actions of the offending driver. Then, again, would honking be an appropriate manner in which to show one’s love for the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of all mankind? Such was not the pattern provided by Jesus of Nazareth."
Elder G. Homer Durham
"Jesus the Christ: the Words and Their Meaning"
April 1984 Saturday morning session
"Recently, while I was driving on the highway, a car passed. This was not unusual. The bumper sticker was a little different, saying, 'Save the Humans.' One sees many bumper stickers these days. This one turned my thoughts to something fundamental, the word save. I thought of the plan of salvation. I thought of the world of scholarship, and of Professor Arnold Toynbee’s analysis of the many so-called “saviours” found in history. We know that one Savior truly saves — the Lord Jesus Christ. This is His church. We have taken upon ourselves His name."
"Behold Your Little Ones"
Then-Elder Gordon B. Hinckley
October 1978 Saturday afternoon session
"There is a bumper sticker seen much of late that asks the question, 'Have you hugged your child today?' How fortunate, how blessed is the child who feels the affection of his parents. That warmth, that love will bear sweet fruit in the years that follow."